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Any info on Fairchild Cinephonic Eight Sound Zoom?


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#1 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:04 PM

I picked one of these up recently and it's actually really well built. I love super 8 but getting this thing going sounds like some fun! The lens is nice and the internals look good.
I think it can shoot 100 foot rolls, not just 50.
The sound film is extinct of course, but if it's used for sound is it sync? 24fps? Could use an external recorder and get some good results.

No battery as far as i can see, some terminals on the bottom under a cover.
Looks like you could get a cheapo DC power supply and run it off the wall if I knew the voltage.

Anyone know these kind of things? Or should i just put it up on the wall for the collection and not bother?
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#2 Charlie Peich

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

The sound film is extinct of course, but if it's used for sound is it sync? 24fps? Could use an external recorder and get some good results.

No battery as far as i can see, some terminals on the bottom under a cover.
Looks like you could get a cheapo DC power supply and run it off the wall if I knew the voltage.




Happy New Year Kirk!

Here's a youtube with a description of the Fairchild Cinephonic 8.

The camera ran at 24fps. The maximum load of film was 50ft (split after processing = 100ft reg 8). You could load "silent" 25ft loads in also.

The Cinephonic film was Ansco stock available in AnscoChrome color (iso 32 tungsten) or B&W. Kodak did not support the camera with mag striped film.

The sound was recorded 56 frames ahead of the picture. Hard to edit! Info on the mag track from a Kodak ad for their 8mm sound projector.

The battery is built in, and you would plug the charger in the base. I can't tell you how accurate the speed control was. I don't recall hearing anything about "crystal" sync control.

I bought a turret model new when I was a kid. The zoom model wan't available at the time. But I did get a 8mm-48mm Schneider zoom with reflex finder for it. Nice lens.

I still have the projector (non working amp) and a few hours of film. Problem is, the mag stripe flakes off easily as the film ages, there goes the sync "words".

Charlie
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#3 Gary Knutson

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:13 AM

I bought a Fairchild Cinesonic Eight in 1962 when I was in the Army in Germany. I saw a PR squib in a magazine, and wrote the Fairchild factory, which sold it to me direct.

It was a tech wonder for its time, but was horrendously expensive. (Over three months' pay as a Sp/4!)

I got the add-on zoom lens (with separate through-the-lens viewfinder mounted to the side), which broke in an accident soon after. I sent it back to Fairchild, who repaired it free (maybe they took pity on me) and mailed it back, just in time for me to rotate back Stateside.

Because the film was so rare and expensive, almost all my European footage was too-brief shots. When I get it transferred to digital someday, I can slow it down in iMovie or FCP, or if nothing else, extract single frame pics.

It was a very expensive indulgence. Its saving grace is that I was able to record irreplaceable sound footage of my parents.

The great design flaw, for which the engineers should have been horsewhipped, was making the projector power cord and the camera charging cord (which had an inline transformer) with the exact same fitting.

So one day I plugged in the wrong cord to charge the camera, and —POOF— the battery fried with a flash. And I was too poor to get it fixed.

And of course, Kodak's Super 8 quickly rendered it obsolete.

Editing was not a problem, so long as you allowed a couple seconds at the head or tail of any sound take. I used a Mansfield 8mm editor and a little splicing block.


Now I just have to find a vendor who can transfer the film to a digital format, whilst dubbing the mag sound to a separate track, maintaining sync.

Any recommendations?


I'm afraid to take the film out or project it until I find a resource that can properly handle it.

Worst case: the film has turned to mush, or the mag track has flaked off.

Best case is that the film will have aged and lost color. But if that's the only problem, that can be corrected digitally later.

Of course, the film will have scratches and dirt. Ultrasonic cleaning will take care of the latter. If the scratches are in the base, expensive wet-gate printing could fix it*. Scratches in the base mean nothing less than frame-by-frame Hollywood-level expertise will fix it.


*I've been away from the film biz for so long, I don't know what gear the "we transfer anything" places have rescued from old motion pictures labs, and what they don't.




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